What is Bioinformatics?

Bioinformatics is an interdisciplinary science that brings together approaches from biology, genomics, biostatistics, computer science, mathematics, medicine and health. At a basic functional level, bioinformatics is the application of computing tools to biological data to make it understandable. Thus, bioinformatics helps to gather, store, organize, and analyze large volumes of data, or big data, whereby such data can be transformed into interpretable pieces of information. When applied to gerontology research, bioinformatics incorporates the investigator’s goal of using computational tools and resources to answer research questions aimed at improving human health across the lifespan, and into older ages.

To achieve the overall goal of transforming and translating big data into understandable knowledge, a bioinformatics approach brings together collaborators from multiple fields.

Mission Statement

The USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology Bioinformatics Core (GBC) serves as a centralized resource through which bioinformatics consulting and data analysis solutions can be facilitated. The core provides services to faculty, staff, and students at the Leonard Davis School and is funded through the office of the Dean.

The Core mission is to facilitate the development of data analytic procedures to enable the translation of big data into research findings. The GBC supports researchers in their application of computational approaches to study biological processes in aging in proposing new grants, gaining further knowledge and skills related to big data use and interpretation, publication pursuits, and completing data analytic projects.

  • The GBC promotes advanced computation and informatics approaches to augment our ability to investigate and understand biological processes related to aging.
  • The GBC facilitates the integration of resources across USC for collaboration among biostatisticians, gerontologists, biologists, population scientists, and clinical investigators.
  • The GBC fosters the education of developing gero-bioinformaticians through training and research activities

Services Offered

  • Facilitate integration of tools and resources for storing, organizing, analyzing, visualizing, and interpreting data
  • Human genomics analyses
  • Support grant development and analyses
  • Host educational seminars and workshops
  • Manuscript and project support
  • Collaboration in conjunction with the Nathan Shock Center for Excellence in the Biology of Aging’s Genomic Translation Core

Projects requiring integration of large-scale computing and analyses often involve complex processes and multiple resource types. The approach of the GBC is to partition these processes into action-oriented steps that can be sequentially addressed to achieve project goals.


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